Sunday, June 12, 2016

We Have Officially Moved

Rage and Frustration has expanded its audience by joining forces with MoshPitNation, the premier metal website in Michigan.  We will continue to maintain our own page on that site, posting reviews of albums and concerts, as well as maintaining our own Facebook and Twitter presence.  A big thanks to the fine people at MoshPitNation for welcoming us into your family.

Read our reviews here.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Hivelords - Tapered Limbs of a Human Star

Band -  Hivelords
Album - Tapered Limbs of a Human Star
Country of Origin - USA
Genre - Avante Garde Doom Metal
Release Date - August 4, 2015
Label -  Anthropic Records

I'd like to start this review with an apology to the band.  I went to Detroit last summer to see a DIY show at a great space called the Sanctuary featuring Isenblast, Fell Ruin, Hivelords, Cloud Rat, and False.  I was there primarily to see the latter two (who are high on my list of favorite bands), but was extremely impressed by this 5-piece from Philadelphia.  I managed to catch up with them after their set and, when they found out I wrote reviews, they generously provided me with a download code for this album.  Much listening ensued.  I really did mean to write a review.  I really did.  Initially I struggled with what to say about this album (and still do), because of how dense and layered it is.  Then, my new job duties kicked in and I dropped the blog until just a couple weeks ago.  So, I'm writing today, long past the time I should have.

Tapered Limbs of a Human Star is a difficult piece of art to describe.  I have seen the band labeled doom metal, black metal, sludge metal, avante garde metal.  The reality is that all the labels fit at times, but none of them really give the true picture.  When I stop to break down what each individual band member is doing, it doesn't seem all that special.  Everybody is certainly competent with their instrument, including both the vocals and noise effects provided by Kevin North.  Drummer Will Mellor gets blasting at times, which can definitely be work.  The guitar lines provided by Lydia Giordano and Evan Void are solid.  Ditto the bass work of Tyler Butler.  This whole paragraph could be considered damning with faint praise if I ended there, but these facts don't give the whole picture.

Really, the brilliance of Hivelords is in the composition, the way all these parts are put together, the atmosphere created.  Tapered Limbs of a Human Star is mesmeric, bleak, enthralling.  This is the type of album that demands attention.  Once it has it, the listener is carried away into the other...into the void.  Unlike some metal bands, the atmosphere doesn't generally portend true evil, but rather nihilism of the highest order.  When listening to the ominous intent of Tapered Limbs, you feel that the end is nigh.  I don't mean just the end of you, but rather the end of all.  After the end comes...nothing.  This album is the soundtrack to the moment when the powers realize we exist and are immediately done with us.

It would be difficult to overstate how much I love this album.  I have heard and felt something new every time I listen to it and it has been in heavy rotation since the day after that concert last August.  In addition, the members I met (Kevin and Lydia) seem like really cool people.  They are about to head out on tour.  Details can be found on their Facebook page here.  I highly recommend that you go see them and tell them Hayduke says hello.

Recommendation:  Go buy this now.  Put on your best headphones and listen to it straight through.  Repeat.  See them live.

Rating:  4.5/5

Monday, May 2, 2016

Crust Madness at the Firehouse - A Show Review

This past Friday evening, I went out to a little underground space to watch a DIY show.  This was my second time in the space, having attended a show earlier in the year featuring Great Reversals, Discarnate, Boddicker, Dahkma (Vinyl Release show), and Cloud Rat.  I could tell that there had been improvements made in the space in the interim.  The Firehouse a loft on the second floor of what appears to be a warehouse or similar type building.  Upon entering, you immediately go up a set of stairs into a decent size open area with a small stage in the middle of the back wall.  At both shows, the drum kit and back end take most of the space on the stage so the remainder of the band members perform in front of the stage.  All in all, it's a cool place with a good vibe and a welcoming atmosphere.

The lineup on Friday was meant to be Siege Tower, Discarnate, and Red Moon Rising, but Siege Tower couldn't perform last minute.  Instead, Dylan, a member of Siege Tower and the host of the night's festivities performed a noise set under the name Death Exclamations.  I have to say that this set was one of the most truly uncomfortable artistic performances I've ever experienced.  Dylan performed solo with two microphones running through a variety of FX pedals.  The sounds he created with rubbing and beating the microphones together, banging them into his own forehead until he bled, and roaring into them were intense and disturbing.  His manic pacing with his back mostly to the crowd and the short bursts of self-inflicted violence added to the unease.  It was a fairly brilliantly rendered and raw emotional experience.  I'm not sure I recommend it or want to see it myself again, but there is no denying that I found it moving in a dark way.

Up next was Discarnate, a 4-piece of blackened death metal from Grand Rapids, MI.  Friday was the fourth time I've caught them live and I can say that they are consistently good.  They continue to write new music.  The drummer consistently sets the pace with a good mixture of styles including the inevitable blasts.  The guitarist creates a dark atmosphere with tremolo picking and riffing.  Friday featured a different bassist, though whether this is a permanent change or temporary fill-in, I'm not sure.  Vocals are a mix of deep guttural death growls and raspy blackened screams.  Both are solidly done and the variety is nice.  Overall, they are a new band, already solid, and headed for bigger things.

The night wrapped up with the sludgy two-piece Red Moon Rising from Chicago.  I thought that they were the weakest of the the night, though not terrible.  The drummer was quite good, but I didn't feel that the guitarist was able to do enough without other support to keep the music consistently intense and interesting.  The playing was decent, but the composition was often uninspired.  Vocals were scarce and mostly just guttural barks into the microphone by the guitarist.  They did finish the night strong with what I thought was their best track.  They are currently on a tour.  Watch for them in your area.

Overall, the event was a little disappointing.  I had been looking forward to checking out Siege Tower and the closers weren't quite my cup of tea, but it was still good to get out, see some friends, and most importantly, support some underground music.  You should do the same.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Aborted - Retrogore

Band:  Aborted
Album:  Retrogore
Country of Origin:  Belgium
Genre:  Death Metal
Release Date:  April 22, 2016
Label:  Century Media

Retrogore by the Belgian death metal band Aborted is, by my count, their 9th full length.  Factor in their numerous splits, EPs, and demos, and you have quite an impressive output by these 20+ year veterans of extreme metal.  The album contains 12 tracks, including a short intro track and 11 proper songs.  The album is available in digipack CD format and can be purchased here.   They will be playing live at a number of festivals (mostly in Europe) beginning in July.

Before I get into what the album sounds like, I feel it important to give a brief rundown on my own musical preferences.  The key point is that I am not a fan of death metal.  I find it generally boring and unimaginative.  I tend to not like the vocals or bludgeoning style of the composition.  There is however, a growing list of exceptions.  This band and this album are definitely on that list of exceptions.  I just want my readers to understand what it means for me to speak so highly of this album.

One of the outcomes of not being much of a death metal fan is that I don't have a wealth of comparison points in writing about Retrogore.  I don't have any other bands with whom I can compare the album.  I do have the Aborted albums Necrotic Manifesto and the Termination Redux EP in my collection, both of which are well done (the former especially), but I can't even compare to "classic" Aborted.  I'm left with talking about impressions and trying to describe the sounds I hear.

Retrogore is a relentless album which grabs you by the throat and drags you along full tilt from beginning to end.  The five piece from Belgium never let up in their ferocious attack.  The parts of songs which do slow down a bit are there merely to give you a comparison point so you don't become numb to the violence of the aural attack.  The guitar work is riff after riff of high energy terror with excellently placed and well composed brief solos sprinkled in throughout.  I don't think of death metal as the place for guitar solos and I even think that the genre would be weakened by a ton of noodling.  However, the length, intensity, violence, and sparsity of the solos here are brilliantly conceived.  The drumming is brutal, but never falls into the common death metal trap of repetitiveness.  Bedene has some serious creative and technical chops on the drum kit.  Vocals are another area where death metal often falls short for me, but again Aborted breaks the mold.  The vocals are varied and vicious, generally positively adding to the negative atmosphere being created.  The bass is not prominent in the mix, but enough can be heard to know that van der Wal can keep rhythm and add intensity.  I'm certain there is more going on there, but I think I'd need to watch him play live to really catch it.

Edit:  I found the following quote on Metal Archives:  "The band supports 'Metalheads against Racism' action."  Just one more reason to support them!  

Recommendation:  For any fan of extreme metal, not just death metal fans, this one's a keeper.  Go get it.

Rating:  4/5

Monday, April 25, 2016

Back From the Dead

When I pulled the plug on this endeavor about ten months ago, I was pretty bummed, but I was also pretty sure that I couldn't continue maintaining the radio show, the blog, the Facebook page, and the other activities in which I involved Rage and Frustration.  I think that is still true, but I also learned that I really need some sort of connection to music.  It is just necessary to who I am.  I have kept my fingers in the water by making and enlarging my connections in what is actually a really cool DIY scene where I live.  I'm a little bummed I didn't find it sooner and a big shout out to the members of Dahkma for helping me find my way a bit.  So here's the deal:  I'm back...sort of.  I plan to be as involved as I can be.  I plan to get back on the radio (if Ryno will have me), but not on any set schedule.  When I can prep a show, I'll ask Ryno to find a time to let it run, and then post it as a podcast here as well.  I plan to write album reviews.  Some weeks I might write 5 in a week and then go 3 weeks without any.  I plan to write about shows I attend.  Lots and lots of shows.

I have  also found someone to help me out in this endeavor, at least with review writing.  My buddy Credible has agreed to do some writing again.  I plan to rope him into this as far as I can.  Just don't tell him that...he might run for the hills.  I think there are some pretty exciting things in the works.  I have four album reviews currently formulating and might get some of them written this week.  I have a concert on May 7th (and maybe one this weekend if I can get out).  I'll definitely write about those.  More than anything else, I hope this can turn into a conversation with others who love music.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Sad Goodbye

Well friends, after over a year of intermittently trying to make this work, I have come to the sad conclusion that my other responsibilities (full time teacher with at risk youth, parent of three) do not allow me to devote the time I need to this radio program.  I'm even late in putting this notice up as there hasn't been a show in three weeks and a real, play listed show in longer than that.  To be honest, I wasn't having fun anymore either.  Listening to music had become a chore.  I found I was listening to music for the show all the time.  While I love much of that music, I have many other musical tastes as well.  Well I was in a mellower mood, I couldn't listen to bluegrass or indie rock, because I was always prepping for the next episode.  I'm so glad I have had this opportunity, and thank you for rocking along with me.  Over my summer break I will attempt to archive the last of my episodes.  Thanks so much to Ryno for letting me try this venture and for his graciousness every time I had to step away from it.  Tune in to his show on Friday nights for some excellent Creative Commons music.  Thanks to Craig Maloney who does the Open Metalcast (can be found on iTunes), who opened my eyes to CC music, who put me in touch with Ryno, and who has always supported the show.  Thanks to all the bands I interviewed and those who worked hard to get an interview together to have it fall through.  Thanks to Mel Arise and the rest of Santa Marta Golden for providing the theme song for the show, for a great interview, and for being true supporters.  Thanks to all of you whom I don't know, but who have diligently listened and supported the show.  Keep supporting your local and underground scenes!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Episode 48 - A Surprise Feature

Tonight, I get to play an unreleased track by Dakhma.  I'm pretty excited.  The track will be released on their new album Raze this Friday March 6th at the Tree House of Horror in Grand Rapids, MI.  Here is their whole tour line-up with Old Soul.  Check them out when they come to your town.  You won't be disappointed.

3/6 - Grand Rapids, MI @ thoh

3/7 - Appleton, WI @ tba 
3/8 - Galesburg, IL@ Glory Day Barbershop
3/9 - Cincinnati, OH @ Cide Central
3/10 - Atlanta, GA @ tba
3/11 - Ft. Myers, FL @ Nice Guy Pizza
3/12 - Tampa, FL @ Cat Quastle
3/13 - Asheville, NC @ Skanktuary
3/14 - ????, TN @ tba
3/15 - Kalamazoo, MI @ Bespin House

Here's a link to the tour:

Here's a link to the Grand Rapids release party:

And now, on with the show:

  1. Yi by Santa Marta Golden from El Fallo Humano CC - BY - NC - SA 0:00 
  2. Mental Health Industrial Complex by Recreant from Still Burn CC - BY - NC 2:27 
  3. Alright, We Fight! by Louis Lingg and the Bombs from Alphabet of a Revolution Punk CC - BY - NC 5:13 
  4. MORIRE SOLDADO 3 by Accidente from Amistad y rebelion CC - BY - NC - ND 7:56 
  5. Frith's Blessing by Arroyo Deathmatch from All of Them Witches CC - BY - NC - SA 10:04 
  6. Jesteś punk by NO SE from Moralny upadek systemu wartości CC - BY - NC - SA 13:43 
  7. The Eyes of the World Are Upon You by Thou from Ceremonies of Humiliation CC - BY 15:49 
  8. Rhuma by Kennel from E a vostra immagine e somiglianza Hardcore CC - BY - NC - ND 26:09 
  9. Elephant by The Armed from These Are Lights CC - BY - NC - SA 28:47 
  10. Man With A Broken Nose by Locktender from Rodin CC - BY - NC 32:11
  11. Islands by Autonomadic from Lies, Fear, and Hate CC - BY - NC - SA 44:16 
  12. Vengeance by Protestant from In Thy Name CC - BY - NC 45:59 
  13. They died because of you by axidance from split w/ abyssal & doomsday & rivers run dry CC - BY - NC - ND 50:11 
  14. FLAIL IN THE BLISS by Plebeian Grandstand from Lowgazers CC - BY - NC - SA 54:51 
  15. rien by Dakhma from s/t CC - BY - NC - ND 59:33 
  16. Scars by Dakhma from Raze CC - BY - NC - ND 1:03:43
  17. Kronstadt by Iskra from Bureval CC - BY - NC - ND 1:15:37 
  18. The Weakness by Anagnorisis from Overton Trees CC - BY - NC - ND 1:18 42 
  19. From the Kettle Onto the Coil by Deafheaven from Adult Swim Singles Program 2014 CC - BY - NC - ND 1:26:25 
  20. Ursa by BeneathTheValley from BeneathTheValley CC - BY - NC - ND 1:33:01 
  21. II by Ivpiter from Black Metal CC - BY 1:41:20 
  22. Erase by Back To R'lyeh from Awakening / Last Fight of the Primordial CC - BY - NC - ND 1:42:51
  23. The Pebble and the Stone by Muldjord from The Color of My Soul CC - BY - NC - ND 1:46:37 
  24. Binary Fuel by Crowbra from Prologus CC - BY - ND 1:51:35 
  25. Becoming the Storm by Obsidian Tongue from Volume I: Subradiant Architecture CC - BY - NC 2:00:27 
  26. Ghost Light by Galaktik Cancer Squad from Ghost Light CC - BY - NC 2:09:13 
  27. Closure by The Wings of Icarus from The Wings of Icarus CC - BY - NC - SA 2:16:12 
  28. Tu N'es Pas Mort, Coquin? by Judicator  from King of Rome  CC - BY - NC - ND 2:21:03 
  29. Parasites by LOST WORLD ORDER from Parasites CC - BY - NC - ND 2:26:27 
  30. Temple Of The Blazemen by Death Tide from Raze The Halls Of Celmeresfort CC - BY - NC - ND 2:31:59 
  31. Ultimas gotas by Kain from Caín (demo'04) CC - BY - NC - ND 2:37:15 
  32. El primer dia by Posession from Spiritual Sirius CC - BY - NC - ND 2:40:37 
  33. Лжец (Liar) by PLATZDARM from Сквозь стекло (Through The Glass) CC - BY - NC - SA 2:44:09 
  34. Mouth Full Of Blood by Forever Wasted  from Skruta / Foible Instinct / Forever Wasted - Split CC - BY - NC - SA 2:50:58 
  35. Pandemia by 466/64 from 10" Split with Under Vultures  CC - BY - NC - ND 2:58:36 

Thanks for listening.  If they are coming your way, go check out Dakhma.  They will melt your face live.  Until next time...